Location: Gorman House Arts Centre/Batman St, Braddon ACT 2612
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday (Lunch: 12pm – 2pm; Dinner: 5:30pm – 10pm)
Phone: (02) 6249 6050
A couple of months ago I had an amazing dinner experience at Sage, so I was super excited to hear about their Taste & test menu. In spring each year, Sage provides diners the opportunity to ‘taste and test’ dishes that may feature in next season’s menu. This is a great opportunity of the chef to experiment new flavours and receive feedback on these dishes.
When we arrived the restaurant was bustling. Once seated, our waiter gave us a rundown on how the Taste & test menu scoring system worked. Each person was given a score card and each dish was to be scored out of 10.
Dish 1: Hawaiian sashimi with fried vermicelli
A nice refreshing way to start the night off! I liked the mix of salmon and kingfish sashimi, and the extra ‘taste of the sea’ pop of fish roe. I would have preferred if the fried vermicelli had more of a chilli kick to it.
Dish 2: Corn soup with tempura prawns
In general, everyone felt that the corn soup was overly sweet and the sauerkraut was too strong. It was unappetising to eat each component separately; however when eaten together in one mouthful, it was amazing.
Dish 2 (fructose-free): Pea & mint risotto with parmesan cheese shavings
I was pretty devastated when my fructose-free dish was placed in front of me. Let’s be honest, it did not look appetizing at all (kinda reminded me of vomit). Even though I hate legumes with a passion and I’ve never been a fan of risotto, this dish blew my mind. The pea puree was silky smooth and I loved the subtle hints of mint flavour with each delicious mouthful. Although it was a very saucy dish, the risotto still maintained a nice bite and was not soggy at all.
Dish 3: Pork Belly with port vinegar with a side of savoy cabbage
(sorry forgot to take a photo of this dish!)
I liked the sweet port vinegar glazed pork belly which went well with the sour savoy cabbage. Unfortunately the pork belly skin was quite chewy, making it difficult to digest.
“Z” dish (vegetarian): Jasmine-infused radish with a side of savoy cabbage
“Z” commented that the daikon was flavoursome. “L” tried it and preferred this vegetarian dish over her pork belly dish.
Dish 4: Braised lamb neck with quinoa tabouleh, mustard crisp, eggplant puree & goats curd
Dish 4 (fructose-free): Pan seared lamb with quinoa tabouleh, mustard crisp, eggplant puree & goats curd
We all agreed that the meat was flavoursome and cooked well. Unfortunately the eggplant puree left an unpleasant after-taste.
Dish 5: Raspberry and passionfruit mousse with white chocolate snow and coconut & mint ice-cream
I loved the summery theme of this dessert! This was a multi-layer raspberry mousse scroll with a passionfruit cream centre, layer of raspberry mousse, finished off with a thin wrap of raspberry jelly. This heavenly sweetness sat on top of a vanilla sponge bed. The coconut & mint ice-cream was refreshing and went really well with the mousse scroll. Each component of the dessert tantalised my tastebuds.
Final thoughts: As always, a lovely dining experience with nice ambience, delicious food, and delightful company. Slight disappointment that the chef decided to serve a pork belly dish and a lamb neck dish again, seeing as it featured in last season’s menu.
First impression: 8/10
Customer service: 8/10
Value for money: 8/10